[Milton-L] Re: porno vs. art?

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Sat Nov 26 09:59:28 EST 2005

James Rovira wrote:
> Do you really think Picasso's intent was the same as the director's of
> Debbie Does Dallas?  Really?  Pure sexual arousal...that the only goal?
>   Or is it commentary on sexaul arousal as well, or perhaps the
> demonstration of a different way of seeing?

Let's distribute this. Are we talking about what should or should not be
legal. If that is the case, then it is necessary to insist that "pure
sexual arousal" is as legitimate as any other goal.

If we are talking about what a reader should or should not enjoy, then
it is not an appropriate topic for public discussion. A given reader
should enjoy whatever he/she enjoys.

Now, if we shift to the realm of literary criticism, we do have a
question of genre. And in that discussion "intention" may or may not be
relevant. That too is an appropriate question for discussion.


P.S. Most discussions of pornography (leaving aside those that are
merely moral fits) assume that it differs from other forms of erotic
material in that its aim is as an aid to masturbation. I doubt that Book
IX ever performed that function, but one never knows.

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